Newsletter No 6 : May 2023

Creating a Fairer, Sustainable and Participatory Economy

To Members and Friends of the Fractal Economy Cooperative (FEC)

Your vote has made a difference in our community.

The third disbursement of gift funds to the 5 registered Not for Profit’s (NFP) will soon be gifted to these lucky organisations, Chrysalis Steiner School in Thora, 2BBB Bellingen’s Community Radio, Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance, Home Care Nursing Training and Bellingen Environment Centre.

It’s easy to receive more gift money by asking your members to join FEC and vote for your favorite NFP organisation.

Events:  FEC directors Gavin Tang and Gull Herzberg presented our view of a new economy at the Malaami Future Building Event and Thrive Festivals over the month of March. Conversations were held by members and the public at both events with a lot of interest from participants shown towards the FEC economic system.

 

 Members of the month: Well, done!

The FEC would like to recognise Lisa Bartley for her very special gifts including   Remedial massage, Zenthai, Shiatsu, Craniosacral Therapy, Internal Tracking. She also offers home visits. If you would like a massage, check the FEC directory for her contact details and give her a ring. Don’t forget to say you are a FEC member and Lisa will record the sale. Since Lisa has become a member in 2021 transactions for $1845.00 have been recorded and $47.85 of Community Contribution from Lisa have been gifted back to the community by members voting for their favorite NFP.

 

Dear Members:

1/ Tell us what you need that will make your experience as a member of FEC better.

2/Please consider nominating yourself as a Director to the FEC Board of Directors for this year’s AGM: Reply to contact@fractaleconomy.coop with your interest.

FEC board would like to increase the number of directors from 5 to 7.

 

Job Opportunity: Marketing Officer description and tasks

The Fractal Economy Cooperative wishes to engage a contractor, who is passionate about fairness and equity, to build our membership and develop an understanding in the community about how the Fractal Economy Cooperative (FEC) can support community well-being and help create a positive economic future for local communities.

The position is part-time, for up to 6 months, for an average of 3 hours/week. Remuneration for 3 hours work will be $100.  The hours worked per week can be flexible to allow for times requiring more intensive work periods (e.g., on commencement to get familiar with FEC and its requirements or around publicity campaigns) to a maximum of 6 hours per week and as approved by the FEC Chair.

 

Goals:

  1. increasing our regional membership base and
  2.   increase the trading of goods and services between the FEC membership.
  3.  Enhance the knowledge about FEC in the local region.

 

Skill Set:

  1. Marketing and promotion
  2.  Social Media skills.
  3. Able to positively introduce businesses in the towns and centres in our regional area to FEC.

 

Desirable:

  1. The applicant is an active member of the FEC or is willing to become an active member.
  2. An active interest in and/or knowledge of the global movement for positive economic reform

 

 

This person will be required to provide a monthly written report to the FEC Chair, Kevin Turner outlining the achievements of the previous month and the goals for the coming month.

 

If either FEC or the candidate wishes to cease the agreement, two weeks’ notice is required.

 

 

Information for new members:

We have in place the Web/App infrastructure to do the following:

  • Register members, through our website, as individuals, individual sellers, businesses, or not-for-profits (NFP).

 

  • Using our app, record sales between Coop members (recording done by the seller).

 

  • Levy a ‘community contribution’ of 3% on the seller (the recipient of money).

 

  • Individual and Individual Seller members now vote on how they would like to see the gift money used. The allocation of gift funding is totally dependent on how FEC members vote.
  • There are 5 NFP’s registered, waiting to receive your vote Chrysalis Steiner School, Community Radio 2BBB, Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance and Home Care Nursing Training, Bellingen Environment Centre.
  • Businesses and Individual Sellers will be sent an invoice soon to those members who have recorded sales to other members and the 3% of those sale exceeds $10.
  • The funds collected will then be disbursed to the current NFP’s and others that register to receive gift funding. Thank you for your Community Contributions.

 

How to Grow our Membership:

 

Total current membership number is 65 and growing steadily. Find out more and register as a member go to the web site by clicking here  https://fractaleconomy.coop/ .

 

 

Tell your friends and ask your local business/service person if they are members.  

 

To succeed the Coop needs to acquire a critical mass where enough active members will generate sales and community contributions. If you are a ‘hesitant’ member, we encourage you to be one of the proactive ones who create the critical mass. We recognise that people are generally harried and time-stressed, we have taken every effort to ensure your ‘FEC experience’ is as straightforward and trouble free as possible. It is easy and quick to register as a member.  Participate by buying and selling goods and services from/to members. Record such sales with the use of our app; vote to allocate gift funding to your favourite NFP. These processes, and more, are described in our Hands on Guide.

 

Members Feed Back

We invite comment on our future vision of starting a Peoples Bank and Land Trust to buy land in community ownership here contact@fractaleconomy.coop

 

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter reply to this email @ contact@fractaleconomy.coop

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Transaction Tax

In the national economy, a transaction tax would be a flat rate tax on every monetary transaction with only a few minor exceptions such as transfers within a family unit. No costs or expense s by businesses will be tax deductible. Purchases of things like shares and currencies will also incur this tax (which pretty much wipes out the speculative transfers of capitalism). In the FEC economy we apply this tax to transfers between members so that we as a collective can do very good and powerful things with it. For marketing reasons, we have renamed this tax to ‘community contribution’.

Commons

We at the FEC do not think that the government is the appropriate collective institution to manage things like banking, taxation and land rental. These can all be taken out of the hands of government. Government should be restricted to policy making in the political realm. What we call the commons is an economic collective. This economic collective does not have the argy bargy of the political life. Outside of the capitalist context, it is the principle of cooperation and mutual aid that pervades the economic life, and it will have a very different structure to government. Because the term ‘public’ is often associated with government, we prefer the term ‘commons’ in reference to this economic collective.

Community Contribution

‘Community contribution’ is in fact the same as a transaction tax as described elsewhere [see Article 2 in ‘Further reading’]. The reason we have renamed the tax is for marketing reasons as people recoil from the notion of paying an extra tax. Tax payments is in fact how we as individuals contribute to the community in order to fund things like public transport, welfare and a functional judicial system. So people should be proud in saying that they pay their taxes. The reason that we have an aversion to the word tax is brought about by corporations who have the ability to make their expenses cost deductible. They load up all costs of dubious things into their income-expenditure calculations that they can get away with not paying a lot of the taxes that are their due. The whole scam trickles down to the rest of the economy and tax avoidance/evasion becomes an acceptable sport. In a true transaction tax, no expenses are tax deductible.

What is a fractal?

A fractal is by one definition ‘An object whose parts, at infinitely many levels of magnification, appear geometrically similar to the whole’. Take the fern leaf as shown in this image:

The first image above is a graphic picture of a whole fern leaf. If we take one of the ‘branches’ of the leaf – as depicted in the boxed section – and examine its structure, we find that the ‘branch replicates in full the pattern of the original fern leaf. The boxed section of the first image, rotated and appropriately magnified as in image 2, show an identical pattern to the whole leaf. If we take yet another ‘sub-branch’ out of the fern in image 2 as depicted in the boxed section of Image 2, we find the same leaf pattern replicated again. And so on.

The Fractal Economy Cooperative takes its name from this feature of fractals – that the part replicates the whole. We believe that what needs to be done in the global economy is the same as what needs to be done in the national economies; and that it is what we intend to do in the fractal economy. This means that we policies in a number of places that should also be practised in the national economy in order to make it a socially just and environmentally sustainable economy: direct democracy in the realm of policy making, direct individual participation in the allocation of public/commons spending; all the practices that make up for what we call commons banking, a new taxation system (which we call ‘community contribution’ for marketing reasons); support for cooperatives over share ownership of companies; a return to common ownership of land effected through the banking system.